Why China's Gen Z Not Worried about Career Prospects or International Politics They account for 15 per cent of their household's spending

By Pooja Singh

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China's Generation Z is carefree, likes to spend money on luxury goods and is not worried about their career prospects or international politics.

That's one of the key findings of a survey by research firm OC&C Strategy Consultants. "A Generation Without Borders", a highly detailed analysis the research firm, included 15,500 respondents, born in and after 1998, in nine countries—China, Brazil, Turkey, Poland, Italy, France, Germany, the US and the UK.

When it comes to household spending, Chinese Generation Z leads the race, accounting for 13 per cent of the share, while the US and UK's same-age population accounts for three per cent.

Why the splurge?

The survey report notes that the high spending power of Chinese Z generation can be blamed on the country's one-child policy. "Since the launch of the one-child policy in 1980, many Gen Zers in China were born as the only child in their family. Being only children, Gen Zers are more likely to receive generous financial support from their parents than older generations," it notes.

Developing economies as such account for more household spend. In developing countries such as Nigeria and Pakistan, over 40 per cent of the population are Generation Z, the report says. "In our surveyed countries, Gen Z represent a larger percentage of the population in Brazil and Turkey (around a third of the population) – significantly more than in Western countries like the UK and the US (around a fifth). They leave school and enter the workforce earlier In developing countries Gen Z are more likely to be in employment having left school at an earlier age. This means they are already contributing to household earning and spending earlier than their peers in developed countries," it adds.

How different are they?

Among the other key findings of the story are that Gen Zers are more likely than previous generations to demand their clothing be "stylish" and "unique". Gen Zers were 7.2 per cent more likely than previous generations to say that having a unique style is "very important" to them.

"It's vital for brands to examine the behaviors and expectations of the next generation of global consumers. ... the way they interact with brands, celebrities and each other is fundamentally different from the millennial and older generations. Businesses that ignore these changes do so at great risk," says Coye Nokes, partner at OC&C, in a press release.

They are also more likely to be influenced in purchasing decisions by celebrities and friends than earlier generations, which may underscore the need of brands to court major influencers with large followings on Instagram, Twitter, etc. While Gen Zers are interested in reducing waste and they cite the importance of reducing single-use plastic packaging, Gen Z in the US are actually more concerned than previous generations with social justice (equal rights, community welfare and diversity), the study finds.

"Businesses should take note of their increased consciousness and ethical standards, both when supplying products and services, and also to attract Gen Zers to their workforce. Reviewing the supply chain, CSR initiatives and company values should be at the forefront of business marketing," says Nokes.

Pooja Singh

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific


A stickler for details, Pooja Singh likes telling people stories. She has previously worked with Mint-Hindustan Times, Down To Earth and Asian News International-Reuters. 

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